By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Responding to the Health Minister’s ‘Update on Covid-19’ Statement, I highlighted the experience of constituents who had struggled to access lateral flow tests in Flintshire and Denbighshire Chemists and distribution centres, who said this was not compatible with the First Minister’s statement that ‘we have more than a greater supply to meet our needs’.

I also asked her to respond to concerns raised by Deaf Community representatives in North Wales about the lack of information in British Sign Language on the official website on how to take lateral flow and PCR tests.

In my Senedd Short Debate on the ‘Deaf People Wales: Hidden Inequality’ report compiled by the All Wales Deaf Mental Health and Wellbeing Group, I referred to its findings that Deaf people in Wales are experiencing significant mental health inequalities and quoted one of the Report’s Authors, Dr Julia Terry, who has said “if nothing changes, the mental health of Deaf people in Wales will continue to be at risk”.

Questioning the Social Justice Minister, I referred to the ‘Locked Out Report: Liberating Disabled People's Lives and Rights in Wales beyond COVID-19’, which found that 68% of deaths from COVID-19 in Wales were among disabled people and that disabled people did not get all the medical help they needed, had less access to public services and social support, had less access to public spaces and public life, struggled to live independently and did not always have their human rights fully respected. I said “the report reaffirmed the fundamental right of disabled people to be fully involved in decisions about their own lives”.

I also called on the Minister to address the identified gap between demand and capacity for ADHD services in Wales, and to respond to concerns raised by Fuel Poverty Coalition Members regarding the Welsh Government’s new Cold Weather Resilience Plan.

Providing the opening words for the online launch of the Association of Convenience Stores “Welsh Local Shop Report 2022”, I championed the contribution local shops make to their communities and the Welsh economy.

I also Chaired online meetings of both the Senedd’s Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee and the Cross-Party Group on Hospices and Palliative Care.

Other online meetings included Home-Start Flintshire, for an update on the invaluable services they provide to support families; and Volunteering Matters, to discuss the #iwill campaign, working to increase young people’s participation in meaningful social action, during which I agreed to sign the ‘Power of Youth Charter’.

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